UK govt rules out ‘vaccine passports’ for foreign travel

London, Feb 8 : The UK government has ruled out plans to introduce "vaccine passports" to allow people, who have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, to travel abroad.

Still, people could get evidence from their doctors if they need it for travelling, Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi told the media on Sunday.

Zahawi made the remarks as the issue is under discussion in the UK and beyond.

"Of course you have the evidence that you have been vaccinated held by your GP and if other countries require you to show proof of that evidence, then that is up to those countries," he said.

One of the reasons for not issuing "vaccine passports" is that the vaccine was not mandatory in the UK, Zahawi said.

"That's not how we do things.

We do them by consent," he said.

Meanwhile, it was not immediately clear what impact the vaccines would have on transmission of the virus, he said.

Downing Street has confirmed that all British adults aged 50 and older are expected to be offered a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by early May.

More than 12 million people in Britain have been administered the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has assured that the UK remains "on track" to complete the vaccination of the top priority groups, which cover 15 million people, by mid-February.

The country aims to offer all adults their first dose by autumn.

England is currently under the third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.

Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Currently accounting for the fourth largest coronavirus cases and the fifth highest death toll, the UK's total number of infections and fatalities as of Monday morning stood at 3,957,177 and 112,681, respectively.



Source: IANS